Climate change analysts evaluate scientific data and carry out research on the climate. The climate data often includes, but is not limited to, information about atmospheric temperature, ocean conditions, ice masses and greenhouse gases. They use this data to create models and to predict probable changes in the earth’s climate in the future, as well as what impacts, if any, these changes will have on natural ecosystems and civilisations. They evaluate both the economic and physical impacts of such changes.
Climate change analysts have to be well-versed in both science and policy, typically focusing mainly on either one aspect or the other. Climate change analysts who focus on science are more heavily involved in detailed mathematical modelling of the scientific data. They collaborate closely with the scientists who gather the climate data and work with them to analyse the information and put it in the context of current environmental practices. They might also model how changes to existing government policies could alter the effects of climate change.
Climate change analysts who focus on policy deal less with primary data; and instead, concentrate more on evaluating the published body of climate data in order to draw conclusions and make predictions from multiple studies. These predictions are used to lobby for or against proposed policy changes. They spend a lot of time communicating their findings to non-scientific audiences such as lawmakers and corporations, as well as the general public.
Climate change analysts mainly work indoors. A substantial amount of their time is spent working on a computer, analysing data and writing research papers and speeches.
Schooling & School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
A bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science or a related field with an emphasis on studying weather data or the environment and resource conservation, is necessary. Their courses should include Public Policy and Economics.
Students who would like to concentrate more on the science and mathematical modelling aspects of climate change analysis, would need a graduate degree (masters or PhD) with courses including Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science and Physics.
The Daily Climate